Who should really take responsibility for a company’s internal brand experience? By Darren Evans, founder and director of Huddersfield-based brand consultancy The Engine Room
Despite the – albeit gradual – acknowledgement that brand is more than just a logo, in some organisations a brand implementation or roll-out is still handled by the marketing department alone. The same can be said when it comes to the creation, nurturing and development of the internal brand experience.
Of course, it is encouraging to see more organisations thinking about the importance of the internal brand. So this is not to point the finger at companies who have tasked marketers with sole ownership of the project. But if the entire business is to truly live and breathe a brand, far more stakeholders need to be involved. And ideally the direction – or buy in at least – should come from the top.
This is not because we operate in an autocratic business environment where employees must follow the owner’s rules. But there are three bedrocks of a solid brand – a sense of purpose, beyond commercial gain; principles, which are integral to behaviour and how the organisation is run; and personality, which defines who the company is and how it is known.
So, whilst the marketing department may tactically reinforce and champion this day-to-day, the senior management team must be wholly invested in these three elements if they are to really manifest throughout the workforce and beyond.
There is merit for considering the involvement of others too. Different stakeholders will offer different perspectives, especially if silos have formed between departments. Exploratory workshops are therefore a great idea when it comes to shaping the ‘three Ps’, especially if representatives can attend from varied teams. From the ‘shopfloor’ to HR, colleagues will have a valid input to offer, and the experience of that brand is likely to be far more positive if they have helped to create it. Customer feedback should also be invited where possible, so that external perceptions of the brand can be understood without bias.
Much depends on the size, culture and sector of the business, for example, but this cannot be an initiative owned by marketing alone.
To discuss the strategic creation or reshaping of your brand, contact The Engine Room.